If you still aren't caught up with the first half of The Walking Dead Season 8, there will be SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk. Both the mid-season finales and the season finales of The Walking Dead are always among the biggest episodes of the season, which almost always bring a pivotal death. This year was no different, and while many fans thought that there were clues being planted that teased the death of Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam), who dies much later in the comics, it was actually an iconic character that was killed off, who is still alive in the comics, Chandler Riggs' Carl Grimes, and now that he's off the show, the actor has finally shed his long hair that he's been growing since roughly the third season.
Over the weekend, Chandler Riggs took to Twitter to show off a photo of his new short hairstyle, adding that, "I feel so exposed like a naked mole rat or something." The young actor also responded to a tweet from Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp, who said he relates to, "haircut that defines you and then you chop it all off." He added, "How good does it feel?" which Chandler Riggs responded by stating, "I feel warmth and wind on my neck it's so weird." It isn't known if this haircut was done for another role the young actor is taking on, but he does have one movie that's in pre-production, Inherit the Viper, where he'll star alongside Josh Hartnett, Bruce Dern and Margarita Levieva.
While it was never explicitly stated in the show, it was believed that Carl Grimes kept growing out his hair after his mother Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies) died in Season 3, since she always cut his hair for him. Executive producer Greg Nicotero revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly last year that the extra length in Carl's hair was being used to hide the bandage that covers his missing eye. While it has already been confirmed that his character will actually die in the midseason premiere, the actor cutting his hair could be seen as a definitive statement that he won't be back in any type of flashback or even a dream sequence.
There are some that consider Carl Grimes' death the biggest and most shocking in the show's history, but that still didn't help the show's sagging ratings, with The Walking Dead Season 8 mid-season finale posting the second-worst ratings for a fall finale in the show's history, just ahead of the Season 2 fall finale. When compared to the Season 7 mid-season finale, the ratings for this year's show was down a whopping 34%. It's possible that the death of Carl could spark a ratings resurgence in the back half of the season, with Season 8 continuing with the mid-season premiere on Sunday, February 25.
Shortly after it was revealed that Carl Grimes was going to die, Chandler Riggs' father posted a controversial message on Facebook, that was later deleted. He stated that showrunner Scott M. Gimple fired his son, just two weeks before his 18th birthday, and after the showrunner reportedly claimed that they wanted him on the show for the next three years, with the actor's father claiming that he never trusted Scott M. Gimple or AMC. Chandler Riggs himself stated that he was quite shocked upon learning that his iconic character will be killed off, adding that in his final episode, the mid-season premiere, Carl will try to teach Rick some "humanitarian lessons" before he succumbs to his zombie bite. While we continue the countdown towards Chandler Riggs' final episode, take a look at the actor's new haircut, courtesy of Chandler Riggs Twitter.